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02-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by The Torts Identity View Post
I don't think Pyatt and Gaborik will be able to give Richards the space he clearly needs. At this point of the year it seems Nash and Hagelin have probably done the best job at doing just that. Have them split up and hope to get some of the other guys going.
I wouldn't split up Nash and Hagelin - I think that their games suit one another's perfectly. Nash attracts attention, guys try to double up on him and then Hagelin uses his speed to get to the new space that double team created and puts the puck away. It works nicely. Notice that Hagelin has been playing very well individually with Step and Gaborik but hasn't had the same effect. Gaborik doesn't carry the puck and rush the net like Nash does, and he doesn't pull defenders away from the other guys on the ice. Not to hate on Gabby, he's good at what he does, but he doesn't play that kind of game.

I don't think Pyatt is perfectly suited for that line, but with Richards' struggles, that line needs someone who can play safe, play the boards and do dirty work in my opinion. I think Richards' needs way more than space right now. He needs confidence. One of the announcers was saying last night that Richie asked him what he did when he was fighting it as a player - that says to me that he's struggling mentally and just searching for answers everywhere. Also, he's turned the jets on a few times and looked quick. I really think he just needs some confidence. Not sure where it's going to come from, but hopefully it'll come once the team gets cooking and he feels less pressure.

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